It is the artist’s occupation to comment on the human condition. For good or for bad, no one can escape hearing about, talking about, thinking about the current corona virus outbreak these days. “Social distancing” is a phrase I hadn’t heard before a week or so ago … now it’s a thing. Despite the efficacy of the practice to curb the spread of the virus, I find the concept disturbing. We need one another and our interaction makes life worth living. Let’s make our distancing physical and not spiritual.
I thought I was a prolific artist cranking out an average of one work a day. That is until I recently read an article about Pablo Picasso, an artist I greatly admire.
According to the article, Picasso created 147,800 works of art in his 78 year career.
This included 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints and engravings, 300 sculptures and ceramics, 34,000 illustrations and even 300 poems … wow!
Of these, the article went on to say, only 44 works are considered truly famous … less than .03%.
Not withstanding the fact that I believe far more than 44 of Picasso’s works are worthy of high admiration, the sheer magnitude of his output and dedication is staggering and speaks to the volume required to produce what is considered “great” work.
I need to up my game.
Striking the balance between form and function. I owe my ability in this area to the many hours dedicated to creating bulletin board designs with cut out construction paper in my grammar school days … more on that in my YouTube channel. One of these days, when I have a studio space, I’m going to do some stained glass mosaics.
One of the most fascinating things about art for me is the degree to which the viewer fills in details … not just meaning, but visual perception. Perhaps that’s why minimalism has always intrigued me. Even with highly representational paintings, including those of the masters. If you zoom in real close, it’s hard to believe how much detail is created by the viewer standing at a distance.
A recent favorite of mine … taken from a photograph of an impoverished young girl in London circa 1900. It has been on my mind lately that no matter how bad things appear around me these days, there have been many previous times when things were far worse. Humankind somehow remains resilient and life goes on to get involved in new games … hopefully better ones.
Many might see this as a religious theme, but my actual intention was to portray a broader concept … the real spiritual damage and hurt to our social interaction brought about by judgement, criticism, invalidation and individuation. We can all do better in recognizing the rightness in our fellow beings.
There is so much hate-filled, divisive rhetoric flooding our world these days … engineered by those who would enslave us by making us forget we are spiritual beings.
I was struck by a photograph of these Native Americans obviously taken on a reservation after their lands had been plundered, their food sources, sovereignty, culture and many of their numbers wiped out.
Even in adopting the robes of their antagonists, their pride and dignity persist and are perhaps amplified.
Let’s remind the ill-wishers and take hope in the fact that they cant kill a spirit.
What genre does this fit into? Fauvist, Impressionist, Expressionist??
Maybe I need to become more educated on these classifications but it doesn’t interest me too much. I’ll just create it and let someone else classify it. I believe I have an overall style … my work is recognizable as mine … but I employ a few sub styles.
I guess it’s like fine wine. My knowledge of wine goes beyond red and white, but not too far beyond. In the end it’s what you like; what communicates to you. There seems to be no end to the number of adjectives you can hang on a wine. … I suppose the same is true with art. What pigeonhole do you think my work roosts in?